O'Neill backing for Mourinho's ref call

November 7, 2006

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has backed his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho's belief that referees should make public the reason for any contentious decisions in the immediate aftermath of a game.

Mourinho, whose side entertain Villa in the Carling Cup on Wednesday, was upset with referee Graham Poll after he disallowed Didier Drogba's first-half goal and then sent off skipper John Terry in Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham.

He believes officials should have to face the media and explain their actions in the same way as a manager - and he has the full support of O'Neill on that point.

The Irishman said: 'Despite the fact referees have a difficult job, I do think they have a kind of responsibility to say why they made certain decisions.

'If it doesn't tally with the evidence, but they've done it honestly and their assessment was an honest one, then I don't think that's so bad

'I do feel they should explain. There is no reason why they couldn't go to a press conference afterwards. We could all benefit.

'You look at Sunday's game and what was John Terry sent off for? You will eventually get the right reason with the referee's report.'

O'Neill added: 'I think a bit of an outburst (from a manager) at the end is kind of understandable if you don't know why one of your players has been sent off.

'I think the ref, who must have sent him off for a reason, has an obligation to tell everybody pretty quickly why he did that. It would make a difficult job easier.'

O'Neill lived in a pressure cooker environment as manager of Celtic for five years and has sympathies for the actions of the likes of Arsene Wenger and Alan Pardew who squared up to each other after West Ham's late winner against the Gunners on Sunday.

O'Neill said: 'Pardew tried to apologise for over-exuberance. Wenger probably felt it all was too close to him and the celebrations were in his face. I don't know how close it was.

'But in the heat of the moment you do things like that.'